Sunday, January 4, 2015

Wood Trivet

This blog post goes through step by step how to make a wooden trivet.

I liked it, so I made my own without the pained parts. It was quite easy.

Bath Shelf

My sister wanted this bath shelf of Etsy for $155 for Christmas.

Custom Tub Caddy by Peg and Awl

I decided to make it with a few 2"x4" boards. I wasn't able to achieve the exact look, but I got the general idea. I first used a planar to make the boards nice and flat, a table saw to cut them to the correct size (for her tub it was 35"), and a joiner to make the edges of the boards really flat so they would seamlessly glue together. I glued them all together with wood glue. Wood glue is super strong when the wood is clamped together while drying, so there is no need to worry about it breaking. The with of the final shelf is 12-13" I believe.

Once the glue was dry and everything was cut to size, I took some scraps that I had and used them as the runners on the under side. I put them about 1/4" inside what her tub measurements were, just so I knew it would fit fine. I screwed the runners to the shelf, and coated them in polyurethane to protect from water. The coloring is nice, just not as cool as the shelf in the picture because it is a different type of wood.

Serving Tray

I saw this serving tray online one time and thought it was so cute, I needed to make it for myself. I went to Home Depot and bought some 1"x6" wood that was as cheap as I could find. (Note: even though wood is sold in solid dimensions like 2"x4" and such, that is before it has been dried out. The actual measurements are always smaller. Take this into account when you buy wood.)

On the website they say that the tray is 15"x15"x2.25". They make it pretty easy for someone like me to copy.

After some calculations, I cut the wood on a table saw at my school. I tried to keep as many of the knots and imperfection on the base of the tray so they could be seen, because I love those imperfections. I used Minwax Espresso stain on the wood after I gave it a very light coat black spray paint. I read on a website that putting the spray paint on it first would give the stain more contrast and make it less uniform.

 In the base has been coated with the spray paint, but nothing else has.

After I stained the wood and nailed all of it together, I drilled the holes for the handles. The holes are 1/4" in diameter and spaced 5" apart from one another. They are centered on that edge, which is 15" long, so there is 5" to the left and right of each hole. It is important the handles go on the edges that have the shorter pieces of wood (as pictured) because the nails go inwards from the edges and that way the wood won't be able to slip off the nails and have your tray fall apart.

My finished product had very thick edges (3/4") and although I like it, I think it is too thick.

My sister liked it so much she asked for one for Christmas, so I ended up making a second one with all the same steps except I used a planar to plane the wood down to 1/2" thickness and it looks a lot better.

Christmas Gifts

This year for Christmas, I thought I did a pretty good job of wrapping presents. They are the cutest I have ever done. I used brown craft paper, twine, and off-white tags. To write the names, I used calligraphy, which I have been working on.

The twine I used (jute cord) from Michael's.

And then for my parents, I spent some time making cool cards.

A Weekend of Embroidery

I have an embroidery hoop corner with all my embroidery/cross-stitch projects, but it was looking kind of sparse, so I spent a weekend adding to it.

I started with this camera hoop. The blogger who made the design doesn't seem to know too much about embroidery, and she used Aida fabric (the fabric with holes in it made for cross-stitch). I did what she did, just to stay consistent, but if I could re-do it again I'd just use regular fabric.

I zoom in on the picture on my computer, trace it lightly with pencil onto my fabric then go over the pencil with thread. Generally I use two strands of DMC floss when I'm using Aida fabric. In this case, I used three.

 I used a 5" hoop.

I just started this new thing where I glue the fabric to the inside of the hoop. This makes it so I can't re-use the hoop for other things, but it also makes it so the fabric will never slip out and get loose.

This airplane one was super duper easy. It probably took me 15 minutes total. This is three 4" hoops. For this I used three strands of DMC floss, but doubled it over so what you see is six strands. I wanted it very visible. This is usually what I do with embroidery on regular fabric. This is the link to the item that is now sold on Etsy where I got the design from.

This hoop with three dresses on it is an 8" hoop. I did all of this sewing with a sewing machine, rather than by hand. I bought small scraps of fabric from JoAnns, stuffed cut them out, started sewing them to the main fabric, stuffed them, then went around and sewed over my first line again. This is the item on Etsy I got my design from. It has been sold, now.

For my Harry Potter embroidery I used black Aida fabric because it was the only black fabric I had. This is a 4" hoop and I got the idea from here.

Now my embroidery corner looks a little more complete.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Bob Ross Painting

A few weeks ago I watched a Bob Ross painting episode, and ever since I have been determined to paint one of his paintings. I searched around, and ended up finding a tutorial by a different guy that I liked the painting better. This is the video:

So I happened to have a 14"x18" white canvas at my house. I bought black gesso paint and put one coat on the canvas, waited an hour, then put another coat on. I let that dry for a few hours then started painting.

I bought the gesso, a pack of oil paints, and a few paint brushes from Michael's. This was my setup on my kitchen table. I also had my laptop with the video running right next to me so I could pause at my leisure.

In the video he makes his own brown using green and red, but I just used the brown given in my pack of oil paints.

In total it took me about an hour. Twice as long as it took the instructor in the video. An let me tell you, those rocks are really hard to make look good.